A Letter From Viktor Orbán's New Nationalist Hungary – Tablet Magazine
Last spring, they told me, when the government first sought to outlaw the Central European University, mass demonstrations were held in support of the university all over the city, and some professors in Hungarian institutions, both in Budapest and elsewhere, signed a petition of protest on Facebook. Very soon after that, the rector at one university in Budapest called together all those who had signed, wanting to know who had initiated the petition, on whose computer it was composed. The rector at a university in another city told one young woman professor who had signed, “You have two young children, think about them.” Such veiled threats of reprisal for speaking out are not new, my friends told me. It’s well-known nowadays that anyone who is considered a critic of the regime will not receive research or fellowship support from government-backed institutions if they apply for it. So people are becoming cautious. “’Don’t talk about this to your friends,’ that’s what I sometimes tell my son,” he said. Are people actually afraid? I asked. “Not afraid, exactly, but cautious. It’s a bit too reminiscent of the Kádár regime,” he answered.